A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 55-year-old woman found dead in an Old Town flat.
Police were called to West Hill Arcade just off George Street around 10.35pm on Wednesday.
Officers are believed to have found the woman lying on the ground of the communal entrance area to a set of flats clutching two carrier bags full of lager cans.
A 61-year-old man from Hastings was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Officers from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team are treating the death as unexplained but have launched a murder inquiry.
Police confirmed the victim and the suspect were known to each other.
It is believed the woman moved into the flat around 10 months ago and the man may work in the local fishing industry selling fish.
Neighbours said they did not see or hear anything at the time.
Kevin Addis, 58, who lives in West Hill Arcade, said: “I came home from work about 9.50pm and walked past the entrance to the flats.
I didn’t see or hear anything.
“A bit later on our dog started barking because it could hear a dog barking in the flats opposite.
“It sounded like a big dog but we didn’t go out.
“It was a just a real shock to find out in the morning that somebody had died in there. It’s normally very quiet and peaceful around here.”
Graham Frost, owner of the Boulevard Bookshop and Thai Cafe, heard the ambulance around 10.30pm. He said he was spoken to by the police.
“They told me that she had been carrying two carried bags with cans,” he said. “They asked me where she might have bought them from.
“I said I didn’t know because the carrier bags were not from the local Premier mini mart.
“That closed at 9pm anyway so she must have bought them in the new town area.
“Initially they thought she had fallen down the stairs but that may not be the case now.
“There is no CCTV along George Street which I would like to see installed.”
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the woman in the area from 7pm to 10.35pm on Wednesday to come forward.
Anyone with information can call 101 quoting Operation Bakewell or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.